Winners in 2016 and runners-up last year, and look to have improved the squad during the off-season. That’ll be Sunrisers Hyderabad, then.
Coach: Tom Moody
Captain: Kane Williamson
Previous Best: Winners (2016)
2008: Did Not Exist
2009: Did Not Exist
2010: Did Not Exist
2011: Did Not Exist
2012: Did Not Exist
Why They’ll Win It:
Winners and runners-up within the last three years and boasting a formidable home record. Tendency to under-use the Powerplay overs addressed by return of David Warner and arrival of Martin Guptill, while Kane Williamson won whatever colour cap goes to the leading runscorer 12 months ago.
But it’s the bowling that really dazzles. It’s the best attack in the tournament, led by the world’s best T20 bowler Rashid Khan. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul to do the job at the start and end of the innings it’s a strong mix bolstered by high-class all-round options in Shakib-al-Hasan, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan and Mohammad Nabi.
Guptill and Jonny Bairstow are likely to be on their bench, such is the strength in this squad.
Why They Won’t:
There are few flaws in this squad, but they are a touch light on domestic batting, with Guptill replacing Shikhar Dhawan tilting things even further.
They don’t have many big hitters down the order, but with a strategy built around chasing and defending mid-range totals thanks to their stellar bowling attack it’s debatable how much that actually matters.
Star Man – Rashid Khan:
One of the very best things in cricket right now is that the world’s best T20 player is from Afghanistan. Tremendous. Having Rashid gives any side a fighting chance with the ball, while his batting is developing at an astonishing pace. He’s more than capable of taking on a Sunil Narine-style pinch-hitting role or bolstering a total late in the piece.
The Risers' arrival in Kolkata, in pictures… #OrangeArmy 🧡
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) March 22, 2019
Full squad: David Warner (Aus), Martin Guptill (NZ), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (NZ), Ricky Bhui, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shreevats Goswami (wk), Jonny Bairstow (Eng, wk), Shakib-al-Hasan (Ban), Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi (Afg), Rashid Khan (Afg), Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Billy Stanlake (Aus).
Sunday March 24
1600 IST/1030 GMT: Kolkata Knight Riders, Eden Gardens Kolkata
Friday March 29
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Rajasthan Royals, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Sunday March 31
1600 IST/1130 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Thursday April 4
2000 IST/1530 BST: Delhi Capitals, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Saturday April 6
2000 IST/1530 BST: Mumbai Indians, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Monday April 8
2000 IST/1530 BST: Kings XI Punjab, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali
Sunday April 14
2000 IST/1530 BST: Delhi Capitals, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Wednesday April 17
2000 IST/1530 BST: Chennai Super Kings, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Tuesday April 23
2000 IST/1530 BST: Chennai Super Kings, MA Chidambaram Stadium Chennai
Saturday April 27
2000 IST/1530 BST: Rajasthan Royals, Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Monday April 29
2000 IST/1530 BST: Kings XI Punjab, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Thursday May 2
2000 IST/1530 BST: Mumbai Indians, Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
Saturday May 4
2000 IST/1530 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, M Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore
Is MS Dhoni a great finisher or just someone who’s there at the finish?
This month’s ball of the century comes, inevitably, from the IP of L.
No Mohammad Amir in Pakistan’s first-draft squad…
Sri Lanka have gone full England with their World Cup squad.
Hashim Amla back for the World Cup despite recent ODI struggles.
England have played their Jofra Archer card just right.
England leave out Jofra Archer. Temporarily. Maybe.
No Rishabh Pant in India’s World Cup squad makes us sad.